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Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Arguments Over Family Holidays?

Arguments Over Family Holidays?

Every holiday, my wife and I argue over whose family we are going to spend time with. As I see it, the problem is that my wife doesn’t like my family and is overly involved with hers. I tolerate spending more time with her family throughout the year because it’s just not worth the fight, but on the holidays I want equal treatment. How can I get her to understand I want to spend equal time with my family on holidays? At its core, getting along in a marriage is about negotiating differences. Negotiations over minor issues come and go almost without notice, but the more emotionally charged ones can labor on for years. Also at play here is the personal dynamic of your marriage. Guessing from your statement, “it’s just not worth the fight”, you may give in to your wife on most issues just to keep the peace. So long as doing so doesn’t breed resentment, giving in is neither a good nor bad thing, it’s just how the two of you have settled in to the routine of marriage. It’s not uncommon for the more laid back spouse to give way to the more passionate one. This issue is very important to you. How have you made that known to your wife? Have you shared your feelings on this, or have you simply fought over the logistics? Taking this negotiation to the feelings level, something wives don’t often hear from their men, just may be the silver bullet that helps the two of you get to the heart of the matter. As you tip your toe in to this negotiation be prepared to stand firm. Expect resistance. Why wouldn’t you if for the rest of the year you’ve been letting her get her way? Worst case scenario,

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Medical Marijuana: Child Protection, Research, Uses; Business Startups

http://joanjerkovich.com/podcasts/11.23.13/11.23.13Podcast.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSPodcast Segments: Find Your Silver Lining @ 0:00 Become a Life Coach @ 4:34 Business Startup @ 24:18 Traits of the Entrepreneur @ 43:24 Medical Marijuana Research @ 44:59 Medical Marijuana for Seizures @ 50:23 Baby Bree Taken Away due to Medical Marijuana @ 1:07:32 Uses for Medical Marijuana @ 1:28:25 Brought to you by: Hospice of Salina Martinelli’s Little Italy Dignity Care Home McCall Manor Bennington State Bank Troy and Lorie’s Cafe (TLC)  

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Custody and Visitation Struggles?

Custody and Visitation Struggles?

My divorce has just been finalized and I’ve been granted primary custody of my son.  He has visitation with his Dad twice a week, but those times when he’s gone are a struggle for me.  I miss him and worry that his Dad might be saying or doing crazy things to set him against me, or stress my son. How can I cope? Your question makes me think of a television interview I saw with a powerful Hollywood divorce attorney who represents big name celebrities.  In the interview, she said that she would not represent a client unless they agree to joint custody and visitation.  In essence, what she was saying was that the children of divorce need both of their parents in their lives.  I wholeheartedly agree.  Even if you think your Ex is crazy, and knowing that you will never be able to control what he does and says, being a good mom involves supporting your sons relationship with his Dad.  (Assuming, of course, that the environment Dad creates for your son is physically and emotionally safe.) Feel lucky that your son has a Father that wants to spend time with him.  It’s the ones who don’t that hurt their children in untold ways.  Don’t believe me?  Oprah did a whole show on absentee Dads and Oprah knows best! In anticipation for your son’s visits with his Dad, plan activities for yourself that nurture and fulfill you.  Maybe there are activities that you enjoy that you rarely participate in because you’d need a babysitter.  I HATE thinking of Dads as babysitters (because they’re not, they’re Dads!), but visitation does allow you the freedom of ready childcare.  Maybe you can use your legally mandated alone time to delve in to your unresolved issues of anger and resentment from your

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Dividing Estate Causing Family Rift?

Dividing Estate Causing Family Rift?

When we went to divide my mothers estate, my sister, who wasn’t as close to mom as me and didn’t take care of her in her end days, took some items from the house that were very sentimental to me.  She has also pushed her way in to living in her house so that she doesn’t have to clean up her own mess of a house. I feel resentful  considering all I did for mom while this sister just swooped in to take what she wanted after she died.  How do I deal with this? Wow.  Just pull out the hatchet and start swinging?  This hurts; yet, it is not uncommon for families that are already fractured to find themselves in a greater divide once the will has been read and its time to settle the estate.  I’m guessing that you have followed the edicts of the will, which is your legal roadmap.  Navigating the legal stuff is easy; it’s the emotional part that’s hard. Your sister is obviously positioning herself to take what she wants and doesn’t seem to be intent on being a team player and dividing things fairly.  Yet, her idea of fair and yours may never mesh.  This may be past tense, but what you need is a plan that you can all agree on to divide the property.  I’ve seen this work well in my own family and here’s how they did it.  Before anyone lays claim to anything, you sit down together and decide how you will proceed.  This can be fashioned like a game of chance where high card or a flip of the coin get first pick then you get next for smaller items; or some families get very technical and need to put a dollar value on everything so that things

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Dating Mr. Peter Pan, Hot Mess; Grieving Family Death

http://joanjerkovich.com/podcasts/11.9.13/11.9.13Podcast.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSPodcast Segments: Dating Mr. Peter Pan @ 0:00 Tell me Your Dirty Secrets @ 4:51 No Games Dating @ 24:00 Dating Mr. Hot Mess @ 42:03 Grieving Family Death @ 45:01 Grieve your Own Way @ 59:57 Brought to you by: Hospice of Salina Martinelli’s Little Italy Dignity Care Home McCall Manor Bennington State Bank

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Reconnect with Abusive Dad?

Reconnect with Abusive Dad?

My dad was emotionally and physically abusive when I was growing up. He wants to have a relationship with me now. Should I get back in touch with him? My motherly instinct upon reading your question was to answer with a big Noooooo!  That, however, is not fair to you or your father.  It’s just a protective reaction, but a good place to start with an answer. Only you can decide if you want to get back in touch with him, but here are some guidelines to follow if you do.  Most importantly, protect yourself from harm.  While there could be a risk of him physically abusing you when you reconnect, my guess is that your greatest risk will be for him to throw emotional jabs at you.  Words hurt, especially when they come from a parent or someone you expect love from. I’ve advised other Life Coaching callers who struggle with this same issue to reconnect in a public place, such as a restaurant.  Make sure there are people around.  A common ploy of abusers of all types is to abuse in private and charm in public.  If you find yourself around him in a more private venue, know that you can escape his presence if he starts reverting back to his nasty old self. Even nasty abusers can usually be nice for a short period of time, so plan your escape for when the batteries on his nice, charming guy are heading toward black out. When you first meet up, you might want to carry this emergency list of “Personal Power Tactics” with you for quick reference: Meet in public Make sure other people are present Don’t ever be alone Keep meetings short Plan your escape Stay away from personal topics Talk about the damn weather Leave if

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Workaholic husband does not spend time with kids?

Workaholic husband does not spend time with kids?

I’m happy that my husband is a good provider for me and our two children, but I feel that the kids rarely see their dad. He’s always working late and many nights isn’t home to say goodnight.  He works a lot of weekends too and can’t always make it to the kids’ activities.  Sometimes I feel like a single mom.  I don’t think his boss expects him to work this many hours, but I don’t know how to get him to slow down and spend more time with his family. Let’s think out of the box on this one, because I’m guessing you’ve tried the expected methods for getting him to spend more time at home.  Moving beyond discussing your concerns and possibly nagging him over this, try a different strategy for change. Research tells me that the first thing you should do is make him aware of how his absence is affecting the children, your marriage and family. If you feel you’ve said it many times before, try telling him in a new, creative way that just may get his attention.  Have the kids write him a letter or draw an art depiction of the family with him missing (does that sound too passive-aggressive?).  Maybe you can make a video clip of the kids talking about how his absence makes them feel.  It is common for children of workaholics to feel resentful. However you decide to get the message to him, try and appeal to his compassionate, nurturing side. Also, let him know that workaholics often use work to cope with their own emotional discomfort and feelings of inadequacy.  They suffer from anxiety, depression and have a high level of job stress and dissatisfaction. If you see your husband in this, point him toward counseling.  If he understands that

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Over Controlling Parents Irritate Adult Children

Over Controlling Parents Irritate Adult Children

Once children grow up their parents let them live their own lives.  Or so one would think. Yet, there are many adult children who are fed up with their parents still trying to run their lives.  Amanda, my Life Coaching caller, tells us it’s important to do what you love regardless of what your parents and family are telling you to do. So, how do you know if your parents are too involved in your life and it’s time to confront them and ask for change? The hallmarks of over controlling parents are that they feel the need to micromanage everything in your life.  They push you toward the career path that they want versus allowing you to pursue your own dreams.  They critique, or should I say criticize, everything you do.  They have an opinion about whom you date, how you dress, what you eat, and what you do with your free time.  That was OK when you were 5, or even 15, but not when you’re 35! Lets not be too harsh on mom and dad.  In their minds they just want the best for you, but what the literature shows is that they are having trouble letting go.  Maybe they were the parents who not only attended your ball games, but practices too?  Over-controlling.  Or maybe they never allowed you to have your own opinions on things, or make your own mistakes in life?  Over-controlling.   Some feel that you are an extension of themselves and that they have a right to dictate everything about your life to the point that they treat you almost like you’re property?  Seriously over-controlling! The scariest over-controlling parents think that they are always “right” about how you should live your life. They know what’s best for you and you are neither to argue

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Wife pushes retired husband back to work?

Wife pushes retired husband back to work?

My whole career I traveled and since I’m fluent in Spanish frequently had to travel outside the country.  There was a point where my stay-at-home wife and I struggled since I traveled so much, but now that I’m recently retired she doesn’t seem to want me around. She suggested I get a part-time job. Is this what retirement is supposed to be? First, make sure your retirement is what you want it to be because it sure sounds like you deserve it! You’ve worked hard to get here so you need to fashion and shape your retirement to what suits you. Fill your day with activities that you enjoy even if that activity is taking a daily nap!  Don’t feel that retirement has to be work. If added time for leisure and “doing nothing” appeals to you, do nothing and refuse to feel guilty about it! Your story about your wife wanting you to get out of the house, and out of her way, is a familiar retirement story. Some couples make this adjustment seamlessly while others struggle. The couples that seem to transition the easiest are the ones where the retiree has outside interests or goals that they have set for their retirement. They’ve been planning for their retirement for several years and are set to launch in to their new hobby or they’ve made plans for volunteer work and more time with friends.  Some even enjoy retirement with that part time job you mentioned. What they don’t do is just plop themselves in front of their spouse expecting to be entertained, or waited on, or catered to. Why?  Because their spouse has been living their life around you being at work and they’re pretty happy with their daily routines. You’ve earned this time so whatever you decide to

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Uncomfortable Visiting Home with Pets?

Uncomfortable Visiting Home with Pets?

I’m uncomfortable visiting my girlfriend in her home because of her house pets.  I hate it when her cats rub up against my slacks or paw at them because they leave cat hair and snags.  Then, when I try to be friendly to her dog, it licks my hands leaving me feeling like I need to wash them. I hate this! What can I do besides not ever visit her in her home? This is a tough one because your friend probably doesn’t have a clue that you feel this way, and she would probably feel bad if she did.  People who have house pets consider them part of the family and can be every bit as emotionally attached to their pets as they are their human family members!  Pets can bring such solace, comfort and joy to their owners it’s only natural for their owners to love and cherish their dear pets.  Add to that, a pet will never criticize or judge them and is always happy to see them and its no wonder some people find their pets more enjoyable than their human counterparts! Just as pet owners can have very clean homes with well-behaved indoor pets, the opposite can be true.  Approach this from a practical point of view.  If you do go visit your friend be prepared to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little pet hair on, or tuck your hand sanitizer in your purse.  Don’t feel that you have to interact with her pet.  Owners are usually very attuned to guests who don’t want to interact with their pets and will accommodate you by steering them clear of you.  If these methods don’t appeal to you and you just feel too uncomfortable, plan to meet your friend at the local coffee shop, and

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